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My 1½ Years At LGF, Part II: Israel/Palestine Conflict and Antisemitism

October 18, 2007

It’s widely known that 9/11 was the catalyst for LGF’s transformation from a weblog discussing web design and bicycling to what it is today.  Now, I can understand how the reality of the attacks might change someone’s outlook on certain things, like domestic intelligence gathering, foreign intervention and espionage. What I’ve never fully understood, however, was the radical shift in attitude with regards to Israel.  As evidence of the change, take a look at this pre-9/11 LGF entry (which, incidentally, pretty much echos my own sentiments):

9/1/01

I don’t like to write about the Middle East. I don’t even like to think about it. It’s a dismaying quagmire of blind religious hatred and irrational Dark Ages thinking on all sides, impervious to logic or reason, perhaps the greatest imponderable stupidity in humankind’s history. I give a slight moral advantage to the Israelis because at least they aren’t exporting terrorism and the slaughter of innocents, as many of the Islamic countries in the area routinely do. They’ll probably all kill themselves one day in a nuclear confrontation. (How’s that for optimism?) I just hope they don’t take the rest of the world down with them. This article in the New York Times is the latest example of the terminal sickness that afflicts the whole region: Palestinians Give U.N. Racism Talks a Mixed Message.

Somewhere along the lines, this relative indifference was abandoned, and replaced by a very passionate, pro-Israel view.  It apparently didn’t take that long, made clear by the appearance of Nekama’s Troll Hammer (and subsequent enshrinement) in 2003 and by the fact that Mr. Johnson was being perceived as a “Righteous Gentile” by the Israel National News as early as April 2004.  By the time I joined the site, accusations of antisemitism fired at anyone who was perceived as saying or reporting anything even remotely critical of Israel were pretty commonplace. (I had even been labeled as such by commentors on a few occasions, one of them for simply saying the word “neocon”.)  For more objective media reports that portrayed Israel as less than infallible, efforts were made to challenge those accounts as simply “biased”. And every so often, something would come across the proverbial desk that seemed impossible for anyone with a sliver of intellectual honesty to refute.  It would have to be something simple, like a single photograph. In those situations…they punted:

palmissilelgf.jpg

So, what sparked this metamorphosis?  Was it the videos of Palestinians celebrating 9/11?   Reading up on the history and culture of the region?  The urge to poke the Jihadis in the eye with pro-Zionist propaganda?  All of the above?

In fairness, I suppose I would be equally curious about someone who shifted from neutral to an anti-Israel stance in the wake of 9/11.  I really don’t get it.  It’s the same country in the same messed up part of the world that existed both before and after the attacks.

Exit question: Is being critical of Israel (specific actions, policies, historical events, etc.) automatically make you an antisemite? Scratch that. How about just plain indifference?

Tomorrow’s topic:

Gaping Disconnect on the Iraq War

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11 comments

  1. It strikes me as bizarre that anyone other than the parties directly involved can have a singular view.As an American I look at both sides. I can’t label either side innocent.I don’t think that makes me an anti Semite or anti Palestinian.


  2. Just out of curiousity, did you read Nekama’s Troll Hammer?


  3. The problem is the change Israel and the whole region has undergone these last 20 or 30 years. In the days of Arafat vs Begin it was all about nationalism (or patriotism to use a slightly more friendly word) and power. These two could negotiate with no problem. Now it’s about religious nutters on both sides, who have lost all sense of reality and want it all. Screw the other side. That’s no ground for negotiations.

    And there are certain White House friendly Christian lobby in the US, who hold the screwed up believe, that once Israel conquers all, the jews will convert to Christianity. When this happens, Jesus will rise again to call to judgement. They are basically antisemitic, but their believes, based on a single quote from the bible, makes them the staunchest supporters of the Israeli cause. And they’re the religious friends of Bush. So, whilst this is not a conspiracy, it may very well influence a biased US policy.


  4. The problem is the change Israel and the whole region has undergone these last 20 or 30 years. In the days of Arafat vs Begin it was all about nationalism (or patriotism to use a slightly more friendly word) and power. These two could negotiate with no problem. Now it’s about religious nutters on both sides, who have lost all sense of reality and want it all. Screw the other side. That’s no ground for negotiations.

    What utter, disgusting, offensive moral relativity. So the religious Jews are the same as Hamas? They go around mass murdering little babies, and then celebrating this? They even have the power and influence to stop the supposed “peace process”? (What a lark, as if somehow concessions will lead to peace, when the goal of Hamas and Fatah is annhilation!)

    Given what happened in Gaza, when the IDF shot at religious Jews and made it Judenrein, given the Oslo “Peace” (really war) process, it is OBVIOUS that the religious Jews are not holding up “peace.” It is appalling to even put Hamas and the religious Zionists in the same sentence.


  5. Two “states” can negotiate. Two religions not so much.(imo and my take on the other comment)
    Gaza was a political decision. Unpopular in many circles but it’s kinda out of line to link that to Judenfrei !
    Religious Jews,Israelis and Zionists aren’t necessarily synonyms.
    Also: “…the jews will convert to Christianity”That’s not fully true. The Christian extremists are misinterpretating scripture. The Jews are meant to return to Israel-conversion not required. This is to happen “naturally” though
    CZ I looked at it. 1. scary there’s a dictionary for LGF. 2.not trying to troll ya in any way,actually like your site.3. take care


  6. in2thefray,

    Gaza right now is Judenrein, i.e., Jew-free. That is simply a fact.


  7. My point on that was that it was a political choice. My critique of your word choice was true. Deciding to leave in hopes of fostering peace is different from eliminating a people. In the German thats how it struck me.


  8. Deciding to leave in hopes of fostering peace is different from eliminating a people.

    Technically speaking, Judenrein simply means “Jew-free.” Gaza is now Judenrein, i.e., Jew-free.

    Moreover, the Jews of Gaza absolutely did not leave by “choice.” They left at the end of a machine barrel, forced out by the Israeli government that was supposed to be on their side. Israel undertook such an extreme ethnic cleansing of Jewry, and then in response, abaris actually makes the claim that there cannot be peace because of the extremists “on both sides”???

    Make no mistake about it; religious Jews in Israel do not have even a fraction of the influence on Israeli politics that the fundamentalist Muslims have within ‘Palestinian’ society. The cause of the conflict cannot be attributed “to both sides.”


  9. Great post. You may be interested in this too: http://www.americansforisrael.com/


  10. hmmm…that was a borderline blog pimp Josh. I’ll let it slide due to the fact that it has something to do with Israel.


  11. abaris said,
    “that once Israel conquers all, the jews will convert to Christianity. When this happens, Jesus will rise again to call to judgement. They are basically antisemitic,”

    abaris, I don’t know of any Christians who believe that, and I am a Christian.

    Your order of events is messed up.

    Bible prophecy teaches that most Jews will continue to reject their Messiah, Jesus, right up until Jesus’ Second Coming.

    It is only when the Jews see Jesus (‘the one whom they have pierced’) that they will realize Jesus is their Messiah.

    And no, Christians such as myself do not hate Jews.



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